Atlas Profile Coffees
Our branding program is based on the creation of consistent flavor profiles for certain core coffees to ensure that our customers have a quality, dependable product from season to season. Hours of cupping go into the original determination of each profile and hours more to ensure consistency from shipment to shipment.
Flor de Izote Espresso Blend
Our tireless search for extraordinary espresso coffees led us to Santa Ana, El Salvador, where coffee producer Emilio Lopez manages his two family farms: Finca El Manzano and Finca Ayutepeque. El Manzano and Ayutepeque lie within a scant few kilometers of one another, El Manzano on the upper slopes of a shaded hill side overlooking the town of Santa Ana (approx. 1,300 masl to 1,550 masl,) and Ayutepeque just below (approx 1,100 masl to 1,000 masl.) The SHG from El Mazano, and HG from Ayutepeque are strikingly different coffees; an excellent example of how a simple variable such as elevation can significantly affect the flavor of a coffee. The Finca El Manzano SHG (a Cup of Excellence winner in 2006, and national jury finalist in 2009) features a distinct tart apple fruit quality, with snappy acidity and a very crisp mouthfeel, while the Finca Ayutepeque HG is much more heavy, syrupy and thick, dominated by dark cocoa, almond and roasted peanut flavors.
Each year, Emilio processes a small amount of Finca El Manzano SHG coffee using the natural/dry method, adding intense, ripe, jammy notes to the already fruit forward profile. You can read a bit more about the process on Cuatro M's blog. The Flor de Izote combines this deep flavor of dark fruit preserves with the heavy, nutty character of the Ayutepeque HG in a striking synergy. "Like PB&J in a demitasse," said one Atlas cupper after tasting the Flor de Izote roasted and brewed as an espresso. This single-origin blend is wonderful brewed on its own, or used as a base for an espresso blend. Availability is extremely limited this year, so be sure to ask for a sample and lock yours in today.
Rosebud Espresso Blend
The same espresso blend that keeps us going at Atlas HQ each day is now available in 100 lb. sacks of pre-blended green coffee. Shots of Rosebud are a perfectly balanced harmony of sweet fruit, cocoa and soft nuttiness with a clean bright finish that make a delectable straight shot. Rosebud especially shines when married with milk, coming through like hot chocolate spiked with blueberry schnapps and hazelnut liquor.Use it as is or as a base for your own signature blend After all, a Rosebud by any other name will taste just as sweet! Â
"Flor de Ipe" Espresso Blend
The diversity of Brazil's various micro-climates is such that the country is considered to be a major growing region of the world, in and of itself. Even within Sul de Minas, the southern-most area of the state of Minas Gerais, it's possible to find an incredible array of unique flavor profiles, due both to environmental conditions and processing methods. This amazing assortment of contrast and compliment in cup character, coupled with Atlas' insatiable thirst for ever richer espresso profiles, led to the development of the "Flor de Ipe" Espresso Blend.
"Flor de Ipe" pairs two of Santo Antonio Estates finest coffees, one processed using the pulped-natural method and one using the natural-dry method. These provide for a very dynamic range of flavors in what may be considered a single-origin blend. Orange zest, walnut and clove are prominent in the fragrance and aroma, and flavors of molasses, toffee, allspice, hazelnut, and butterscotch marry to form a subtle complexity best experienced as an espresso coffee. "Flor de Ipe" is also a marvelous base to an espresso blend, providing a solid foundation which is capable of supporting a wide variety of complimentary blend components.
El Salvador SHG EP "El Toreador"
El Salvador is a veritable treasure trove of coffee quality, and is leaping onto the specialty stage, and into the limelight. Atlas' profile El Salvador coffee, "El Toreador" embodies the quintessential features of the Santa Ana volcano region. Extremely clean and sweet, with a lightly citric, effervescent acidity remininscent of Huila and Cauca coffees from Colombia, "El Toreador" is a very versatile profile, equally at home as a single-origin, or blend component.
Guatemala SHB EP "Tikal"
We worked diligently with our sources at origin to define a quintessential Guatemalan flavor profile that would not only exceed the standard grade qualities at a better price than an Antigua, but also offer consistency from year to year. Our "Tikal" answers the challenge by giving our exporter the flexibility to utilize coffee from all of the growing regions (Huehuetenango, Antigua, Atitlan, etc.) in varying quantities as the production and cup quality changes throughout and over the years. Hints of smokiness, excellent consistency cup-to-cup, and a nice, clean finish define the "Tikal" profile and make it an excellent single-origin offering. "Tikal" also works well as a blend component because while it offers a solid profile, it is quieter in the cup than an Antigua, and therefore won't overwhelm the flavors of its companion coffees.
Colombia "El Corazon",
For a number of years now, Atlas had worked with its partner office in Colombia to secure the finest Supremos available to sell under our "El Toro" brand.
One of our traders who worked in the Bogota office continually argued that if we looked carefully, we could find some truly exceptional Excelsos, as well. And...after many trials, we found a coffee that proved his point. We are now proud to offer Colombia Excelso "El Corazon".
Every year, we bring in a limited quantity of Excelsos that offer the combination of full aroma, ripe citrus top notes, creamy body and lingering sweet finish that characterize "El Corazon." The coffee is a great stand-alone Colombia, and with its mellow character and pleasing softness, also serves as an outstanding base for drip blends or espresso.
Colombia "El Toro"
Colombian coffee is widely known as one of the world's best coffees. However, as the world's 3rd largest exporter, a great deal of coffee must be scrutinized in order to find beans that truly live up to their national reputation. Our Colombia Supremo "El Toro" is exactly such a coffee. In the cup, our "El Toro" offers a classic profile: full aroma, medium body, and good acidity. Its pleasing fruit tones are balanced by an excellent caramel-like sweetness, and an overall "richness" that has made Colombian coffees famous and favored throughout the world.
Brazil Cerrado "Porta Rossa"
While many of us in the United States aren't too familiar with Brazilian coffee as a single origin drip coffee, many blends--both drip and espresso utilize this popular bean. Brazilian coffees tend to fill in the middle notes of an espresso - filling in the gaps where the more delicate Central Americans, Indonesians, and Africans leave off. In addition, they impart excellent body that allows an espresso to come through milk.
Our "Porta Rossa" provides an excellent example of what Brazils can do for a blend. Its complex array of sweet middle notes and chiffon mouth-feel provide depth and substance to a fine espresso.
*Trivia--the Porta Rossa logo is actually a stylized picture of the Atlas office.
Ethiopia Sidamo Natural "Chelfit"
Over the years, natural processed Ethiopia coffees have become a staple of many specialty roasters' inventories, and is almost impossible to replace due to the uniqueness of their character. The primary challenge in sourcing a natural Ethiopia, from any one of the country's many diverse growing regions, is one of consistency and cleanliness. Once a clean, sound coffee has been identified, we've noticed that most natural Ethiopia coffees tend to fall into one of two fruit forward flavor profiles: deep, dark berry, or ripe, juicy citrus. Very often, either profile is quite satisfactory, though there are certain palates which prefer one to the other, which is why we at Atlas were compelled to develop the "Chelfit" flavor profile.
While our Ethiopia "Makeda" profile embodies the traditional blueberry, blackberry and currant characteristics famous in dry processed coffees from Harrar, "Chelfit" captures the floral fragrances, perfumed aromas and intense citric flavors more typical of coffees from the Sidamo and Yirgacheffe areas of Sidama. An additional stage of defect removal allows "Chelfit" to maintain the syrupy mouthfeel and slightly herbal wildness so desireable in natural Ethiopia coffees, while preserving the refreshing aftertaste of a pristine washed coffee. While the beauty of "Chelfit" is best realized through the medium of espresso, as a single origin or a blend component, its fruit forward citrus character also stands out in a slow filter brew or french press.
Ethiopia "Makeda" Harrar Longberry
Our Ethiopia "Makeda" Harrar Longberry is a custom profile type - developed exclusively for Atlas Coffee Importers - that is painstakingly selected, lot by lot, for its sweet blueberry notes, remarkable middle-note complexity, and luscious body. Intense without being shocking, and wild without being gamey, it is a truly exceptional coffee. Named after the legendary Makeda, Queen of Sheba, this unparalleled beauty of the coffee world is outstanding as a single origin drip coffee, and a stellar component of an intense espresso blend.
Atlas Relationship Coffees
Situated just above the town of Corquin in the department of Copan, Honduras, the community of Las Capucas is home to one of the most progressive coffee cooperatives in the country: COCAFCAL. Atlas' relationship with Las Capucas began in March of 2007, when Atlas' own Chris Davidson visited the co-op as a volunteer with Winrock, Intl., on an quality assessment and improvement assignment. Since 2007, Atlas and COCAFCAL have partnered in the production of two micro-lot competitions in Las Capucas, and together have seen the quality of the coffee and dedication of the farmers take a quantum leap.
COCAFCAL Manager Omar Rodriguez and Peace Corps volunteer Rebecca Stygar have led the charge to improve the quality and brand recognition of Las Capucas coffee, and the improvements have garnered the attention and praise of some of the most discerning buyers of specialty coffee. COCAFCAL has also obtained Fair Trade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certification in the past few years, adding value to the already outstanding quality of the coffee they produce. Recently, the fine folks at COCAFCAL developed a promotional website to share more information about the coffee of Las Capucas. You can take a look at www.mycapucascoffee.com.
Las Capucas coffee is characterized by an aroma of honeysuckle and maple, sparkling green apple acidiy, very light, crisp mouthfeel and a finish of baker's chocolate. We're looking forward to seeing the flavors of this unique coffee become even richer and more refined as our relationship with the producers of Las Capucas develops in the years to come.
Monserrate is a community of 28 families some two hours down a bumpy dirt road from La Plata. The town itself consists of a single street draped along the top of a gorgeous ridge with a commanding view of the lush green valleys on either side. At the highest point in town sits a brick-clad church and bell tower.
The coffee grown here is Caturra and Typica varietal. Each family has its own de-pulping and fermentation set up, along with raised drying screens protected from the rain by parabolic roofs of transparent plastic. The drying areas are set up on a slight incline, so that both ends of the tunnel can be opened to allow airflow across the coffee.
Since every family contributes coffee for export, each fermentation and drying process has to be done perfectly, or it could compromise the entire shipment. Happily, the whole community takes great pride in their work, and the results show very nicely in the cup--delicate floral tones balanced by jellied wine grape sweetness.
Check out what Kenneth Davids had to say about
Monserrate in Coffee
Guatemala SHB EP "Ixil A'achimbal"
In 1989, Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended. After many years spent hiding in the rugged mountains of west-central Guatemala, a group of Mayan Ixil indigenas returned to their village to find that their ownership of the land was not recognized by the new government. After five years, a collective of 80 families was able to purchase a meager 25 acres of land--not enough to sustain them, but enough to sustain hope. In 2000, with help from the Agros Foundation, the collective was able to purchase a much larger, 635-acre tract to raise bananas, lemons, oranges, and coffee. Thus was the Ixil A'achimbal community formed.
The goal of Ixil A'achimbal's coffee project is to produce coffee of the highest quality in order to earn a reasonable return on their hard work. The natural environment of the Ixil A'achimbal area makes this a possibility, since the community (and its coffee plantings) sit above 4,600 ft.; the people of the Ixil A'achimbal communities make it a reality by planting only Bourbon and Typica coffee trees, and meticulously caring for the coffee from seedling to mill. The coffee is passive organic, hand-picked, hand sorted for defect, and sun dried on raised wooden racks. After the villagers have done the initial sorting (without the benefit of any machinery), the coffee is loaded onto burros, taken down to trucks, and whisked off to a cooperative mill in Guatemala City for final processing and export.
The bourbon beans are meticulously processed and sorted, and the resulting cup is beautifully nuanced, with a delicate smoky tone and medium to light body. The price for the coffee was set by the coffee growers themselves, and is paid to them directly.
In December 2012, the producers of Ixil A'achimbal associated under the name APROCAFI. This structure helps them to receive benefits that were difficult to obtain previously, and we're very excited to see the progress they've made in developing their business model. In May 2013, APROCAFI submitted a proposal to Atlas for equipment and organic fungicide to combat the coffee leaf rust issues severely affecting their farms. Atlas proudly granted this funding, and visiting the communities in June 2013 to observe the effects of the leaf rust and process for applying the organic treatment. Read more and see photos about the program here, and click here for more Ixil A'achimbal photos and reading.
In 2011, Atlas began separating coffee receipts from four of the Ixil villages (aldeas) and importing them as regional microlots. Although these aldeas are just a few kilometers apart from each other, the differences in character can be striking. Click here to see their location relative to one another.
Atlas Coffee Importers, LLC is a Project Supporter of Grounds for Health, Inc. GFH is an international non-profit organization founded to provide health care services to coffee-growing communities in Mexico and Central America. Its primary focus is on the early detection of cervical cancer, a leading cause of death among women in these areas.
On occasion, Atlas will select coffees which have passed through a strict vetting process as a part of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence(ACE) selection program for the prestigious Cup of Excellence® competition. Each ACE Certified® national winning lot has scored at least 84 points in the national round of the competition, allowing them to advance to the international round to be judged by the Cup of Excellence® international jury. Take a look at the offer list for current info on availability.
Transfair Certified Organic Cascadia„ BlendSWDCC's Cascadia™ Blend serves up a rich Fair Trade, Organic blend of Central and South American, and Indonesian origins, making for a clean, sweet, balanced and conscience-cushioning 100% Chemical Free decaf. A very versatile blend, Cascadia™ works well both as a drip coffee and an espresso.
Atlas Coffee Importers, LLC
1402 NW 85th Street
Seattle, WA 98117 U.S.A.
1-800-701-5211 -toll free
(206) 652-4880 -office
(206) 652-4881 -fax